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Miniature Painter's Helper

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I've kept a painter's diary before, to keep track of paints used, etc. I've been meaning to bone up on my Java 5.0 skills, and actually write a useful application.


So I am writing a painter's diary application.


Planned Eventual features:

  • Data stored in embedded Derby Java DB, with options to export for data backup purposes
  • A way of organizing miniatures by manufacturer, part number, keyword.
  • For each miniature, unpainted, painted, and reference images supported. IE, bare metal, pics of the way you painted it, and reference pics of the figure you found on coolminiornot, etc.
  • Browse miniature by keyword, manufacturer, etc.
  • Browse paint color schemes you've created. Assign existing paint schemes to a figure, create new color palletes, and name them. IE, you paint a Templar warlord, you assign his pallete a name. You want all your templars to have the same color scheme, so you can then associate that color scheme with other templar figures you plan on painting.
  • Store info about manufacturers, such as contact info, customer support info, etc.
  • Scratchad for miniatures, keep notes as you work.
  • Active projects view showing you what figs you are working on.

So, does something like this sound useful? :upside:


I just want to add, that there would be a way to enter, and organize paint colors offered by manufacturers too.

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Sounds pretty good to me.


I'll tell you something I have considered doing before but was just too busy (read lazy) to get it done. I wanted a program that I could pull up a portrait of a model and play around with colour schemes on it. That way I don't have to spend a ton of time, and paint remover, testing out ideas. I know the main problem would be making 2D versions of all of the millions of figures out there, but I think it could be condensed to certain product lines in the beginning. Plus, if it were in an easy format the make them, I'm sure a lot of the general public would contribute.


Oh well, just an idea I had that was spawned from your post. Overall your proggie sounds interesting and I know I would give it a try. But, I am also a details fanatic and love to keep track of everything.

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Personally I would avoid anything that keeps me from practicing. I spend too much time on the web looking for painting skill boosters when the only thing that will yield improvement is practice. Your database idea sounds like something that retailers or manufacturers would use.


I love the idea of a color scheme tester tho... coincidentally I was just thinking about a "coloring book" that I could print with a line drawing of a fig, or black & white scan on which I could test paint combos.

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I think it's a neat idea, I wouldn't use it since I'm not hard core. But if you make it a web application I could see lots of pro painters that run sales finding it very useful for keeping inventory and customers up to date.

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I think that it sounds very useful, at least for those of us with more metal than will fit comfortable in one drawer. The only thing that I would add is scale so I can sort out my 10mm from my 15mm from my 25mm stuff as well.

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A wonderful idea!


Templates for article writing would be neat. One can fill in the diary with pixs and notes, then, using one of many premade templates, pump out a quick "article" or description in web friendly or print friendly formats. What about a template for a simple webpage for us web newbies? (might be trickier, but all the info seems to be there).


Love the reference image support. I'd like to import a figure, then link to references of other artist's versions, or a pic of rusted metal that I want to copy, or...? Brilliant.


Check with manufacturers. You might be able to negotiate something so that you'd be able to hardcode links to their sites for auto updates (advertising for them and you could get paid for it:) )


I'm going to have to start painting with my laptop running!




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Great idea! I can see using this because my time is limited; I'm slow enough at painting, so writing recipes used, noting source material and other 'painting journal' items tend to fall by the wayside. Make it fast and easy to use, with good docs and intuitive menus/screens and you'll have a useful tool, imho.


Maybe you could add a few more input fields for basing, conversions and commissions -- WIP photos (archive them, not just the most current shot(s)), text on materials used, odd bits, sculpted portions, etc. Example: You modified several non-unique Warlord sergeants, and a client commissions something similar to one of them. Now you can't remember where you got the horned & tattooed skull hanging from his belt. Was it in a bits box, cut from another model, on a sprue, modified or not, etc. Yes, these could be in the free-form notes area, but searchable fields might speed things up a bit for the user.


I started a Microsoft Access database that has a few fields in common with your project, but it was primarily for insurance records and identifying, tracking and reducing duplication in a collection that dates back to...well, never mind that. The point is that I hit the wall when it came to the photos and trying to reference many photos to one db record. So, I have some idea about what an ambitious project this would be -- good luck!

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It sounds like you have a winning idea here, and something you can keep you busy for a long time if you wish it too.


I'm wondering, if you have it be a web application, would the webpage visited be in java, or would the java application run on the users home pc and then export the info out to the server in HTML pages or what? I'm not completely familar with java, but I do know that it can be very slow as a web application.

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